Innovative Lancaster based fabric printing company, Standfast & Barracks, has announced a major £650k investment in its digital fabric printing capability. The new machinery is part of an ambitious investment and expansion strategy to increase its international customer base.
The 90-year-old premium fabric printer is the first UK textile company to invest in the new Durst Alpha 190 multi-pass textile technology, a state of the art pigment digital printer aimed at the production of home textiles and apparel.
Standfast & Barracks says the technology will herald a new era in digital fabric printing – delivering a more flexible, efficient and reliable printing technology, compared with the single-pass trend.
Unlike pre-existing technology, the new machinery prints to much higher standards on man-made fibres such as polyesters and viscose – paving the way for exciting advances in more-cost-effective synthetic fabrics. Improved ink quality guarantees superior colour consistency, vastly improved light-fastness, while rub tests prove a greater robustness against wear and tear
The new machine can be configured with up to eight colours (CMYK plus special colours, dependent on ink type) and 64 Alpha-S printheads that achieve a native resolution of 600dpi and a print speed of 610m/hr on the Alpha 190.
A new “intelligent feed system” also means the machinery adapts automatically to different roll diameters, while an integrated spray system allows materials to be chemically pre-treated before printing.
These factors will provide a much greater diversity of quality, hardwearing fabrics for its fashion and home textiles customers, without the expense and set up time involved in traditional screen printing.
With its continued investment in ground-breaking digital inkjet printing technology, Standfast & Barracks crucially has the versatility to handle both small runs and large bulk orders – a USP, it says, which cements successful relationships with global customers, whilst also ensuring its continued support of smaller brands and up and coming design talent.
It has also boosted its in-house design capability, with a newly refurbished, state of the art design studio equipped with the very latest computer systems, cad software and high-spec scanning equipment. Headed by Design and Sales Director, Emma Douglas, the studio offers a bespoke, trend-led design service for both fashion and interior print companies, together with its unique access to a multitude of beautiful pattern collections from its unrivaled 100 year-old archives.
Commenting on its most recent investment, Standfast & Barracks MD, Stephen Thomas, said: “Our new machinery will open up an exciting new world of possibilities for our discerning customers, who will benefit from enhanced quality across the board, as well as the choice to print in more affordable man-made fabrics if they wish to.
“Of equal value to customers, is our unique in-house design studio, which provides a world-class creative service for companies who require assistance in that area. From design, right through to fabric sourcing, printing and finishing, we manage the whole process to ensure exacting quality control at every stage.
“This 360-degree in-house capability also means we can nurture fresh new designers, who may need guidance on manufacturing regulations and processes. Together with our unrivalled relationships with many of the most prestigious international design houses and home textiles companies, we’re able to mentor raw talent, which is extremely rewarding and important to our business.”
Standfast & Barracks is part of Walker Greenbank PLC, a luxury interior furnishings company that designs, manufactures and markets wallpapers and fabrics together with a wide range of ancillary interior products.